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Sought for MGM v. Grokster: Non-Infringing P2P Use

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the that-lessig-fellow-might-have-some-words dept.

The Courts 377

linuxizer writes "Since my last Slashdot entry, I've been discussing various copyright issues with the ever-interesting Peter Fader. Out of those conversations came, an attempt to document the various forms of substantial, non-infringing use over peer-to-peer networks before MGM v Grokster goes to the Supreme Court. So far I have about 50 entries, but more suggestions would be much appreciated. Some fellow /. readers might also be interested in my fairly regular posts on copyright/IP issues, which are mostly links to interesting articles with occasional commentary."

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eh0d peed in myh mouf (1)

eh0d is my daddy (825041) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136817)

and then he laughed at me. you are so mean, eh0d. after igot you the first post... :.(...

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My non-infringing use (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136838)

I use the P2P network to get free copies of Brittany Spears' latest album. Since it is not spelled "Britney", it does not infringe, so back off, MGM!

Re:My non-infringing use (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136956)

I think there are some people who would love to sell you some v1agra, then.

Nonsense (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136840)


ur so hott! snot snot snot. ur sites tight, assfucker

BT has a valid use, for example. (5, Interesting)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136842)

World of Warcraft by Blizzard utilizes the BitTorrent methods to distribute patches/updates. That's basically rousing support for a peer-to-peer method from a very well known company servicing several hundred thousand users.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (3, Informative)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136899)

THe problem with this is that their BitTorrent distribution system was much-maligned during beta. It fared so poorly that it had to be scrapped for release.

It was a great idea in theory, but in practice, it meant beta testers were still trying to download the 2.5GB client at a piddling 10k/s days or even a week after a new beta client went live, and downloading the client via BitTorrent in the middle of a particular push was next to impossible. Personally, I found it so slow, I wound up pulling the client down off newsgroups, instead, at a much higher speed.

Blizzard's BitTorrent distribution was a cool idea, and I'm sure it saved them a few bucks worth of bandwidth, but it was a far cry from a success.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (2, Insightful)

jdreed1024 (443938) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137014)

It doesn't have to be a success, it just has to be non-infinging. If a major company, which has previously been pretty darn vigorous in defending its "intellectual property" (think bnetd) decides to use this technology, that's a pretty good indication that it has a legitimate use. Now, if it turns out that the technology doesn't work, for whatever reason, that's a different issue. But if it were technology that could only be used for "evil", no company would be stupid enough to use it, no matter how fast it might be.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (4, Insightful)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137105)

True enough, I wasn't trying to disqualify the parent's suggestion simply because it didn't work out. But let's be rational:

Say a politician wants to ban cars because they can be used to cause so much death and destruction. Someone wants a list of safe, legal applications for cars. Well, there's driving to work, driving to school, fetching groceries, etc.

Considering the abundance and usefulness of all the successful and purpose-built functionality cars have, would makes they make a damned fine counterweight for turning a cherry picker into a trebuchet really carry much weight? Probably not, and neither should the failure of Blizzard's awful BitTorrent implimentation.

Sure, it can be used that way, but it's not particularly well-suited to it, and it sort of caught me off guard that considering what (legal) uses P2P technologies do use, one of the lamest implimentations yet was the first to be mentioned.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11137141)

What nearly all you bots fail to understand is that these cases aren't about technology. They are about companies who are profiting indirectly from copyright infringment.

The fact that Blizzard is using the Bittorrent protocol in a legitimate way doesn't affect the Grokster network, or sites like SuprNova, in the least bit.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137027)

The problem was that you couldn't set your upload in the client. If you used a resource extracting program, you could get the plain .torrent out of their exe and use your client of choice to download it.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137039)

BT seems to vary alot with location and your hardware setup. I pulled the beta off at about 250K/sec. Granted for a multi gig beta that took a day or so, but it was almost certainly faster than I could have gotten it from a single server

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (3, Informative)

AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137067)

In that case, possibly a better example for BitTorrent could be X-Plane [] . Austin distributes the demo, betas and updates for the software using BT and he has done since the early 7.x releases. It may not have the tens of thousands of users, but it is a substantial legal use...

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (1)

pdawson (89236) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137177)

As far as I could tell, the problem was that Blizzard rolled their own BT client with no upload capping, so you ended up with a saturated upstream, leading to poor downstream performance, and leaving you unable to browse the web, etc. while you waited.

Once people managed to extract the .torrent Blizzard was using for a given update from the updater .exe file, you could get much better performance from the same tracker using a standard BT client.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (1)

eison (56778) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137233)

It doesn't look scrapped to me - my store-bought copy of WoW updated itself via a custom BitTorrent client, the Blizzard Downloader [] , and reported peer connection stats during the download.

Re:BT has a valid use, for example. (2, Informative)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137166)

Blizzard's implementation was broken. Most people use ADSL or other similar network connection which completely chokes if you max the upstream. So the Blizzard patcher maxed the users's upstream, totally killing the downstream.

But it *is* a substantial noninfringing use.

Anarchy Online is also distributing it's client free via Bittorrent fr eecampaign/

Uses perfectly normal BT client to distribute free trial of a commercial game. And I think they have already distributed few thousand copies of the client...

Blizzard uses P2P (0, Redundant)

Zeddicus_Z (214454) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136847)

World of Warcraft distributes patches via a customised BitTorrent client.

Top Selling Industry Games - STEAM (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136991)

Half-Life 2 used STEAM to deliver their product, which was a custom BITTorrent protocol.
They Even Hired Bram Cohen (guy who wrote 1st Bittorrent client-invented/popularised and coded it) to write it for them.

What about /. posts which put up Bittorrents of files of Websites to avoid Slashdotting.

Isn't the BBC (British Broadcasting) trialing a TIVO like streaming T.V. thing at the moment using Peer-2-Peer tech.

And didn't Downhill Battle help people get WINXP-service hack 2 by Bittorrent.

I'm sure with Downhill Battles Blog-to-Torrent legality will really take off.

Otherwise : A World Without Sharing.

Hard to find substantial non-infringing use? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136849)

Hehe... so, it's hard to find substantial non-infringing use, isn't it?

In the last thread on this issue I was glad to see that people were beginning to admit that they mostly use P2P for piracy. This, of course, was rationalized by a naive, "information wants to be free"/"no-one should own ideas/music" delusions...

I for one am glad that the law is finally arriving to the internet.

Re:Hard to find substantial non-infringing use? (1)

asliarun (636603) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136983)

While you're at it, would you also consider banning other products that do not match your exalted standards of "usefulness"?

Alcohol, perhaps, because it only promotes wife-beating and dangerous driving?
A case for computer games, because they promote violence and are merely for entertainment??

To repeat ad nauseum, a tool, software or hardware, is only a tool and are not inherently good or evil. The responsibility of "correct" usage lies with the users, and only with the users. If we go by your myopic way of thinking, we would all be suitably safe, suitably reassured, and suitably living in the stone age.

Distro ISOs? (4, Informative)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136854)

It may just be me who can't spot it in the list, but where is using BitTorrent to distribute the latest ISO images for Linux installs? Not to mention all the patches etc...

Re:Distro ISOs? (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136921)

thats what i was gonna suggest, as well as free media (movies/music) that is not copywrighted is often most easily spread via bittorrent or other p2p clients.

this is especially true for small organizations who can't afford the bandwidth/server power necessary to send their art to the masses. in cases such as this, bittorrent is an invaluable tool!

Re:Distro ISOs? (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137019)

It may just be me who can't spot it in the list, but where is using BitTorrent to distribute the latest ISO images for Linux installs? Not to mention all the patches etc...

No thanks, I'll take a nice mirror site over a slow BitTorrent download any day. I regularly get 600KB/sec over my ADSL line from most Linux mirror sites. The most I ever seem to get out of BitTorrent is 10KB-50KB/sec. After that my uplink is so clogged with leechers that it affects my entire DSL line performance. Latency shoots through the roof and my downloads are choked off. I'll take FTP or HTTP transfers anyday over that.

Re:Distro ISOs? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137079)

Configure your client properly and you won't have that problem. Once I configured Azureus to only allow 10kb/s upload speeds, I never saw the problem you describe again.

It's not bittorrent but... (1)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137133)

I always use Direct Connect to download linux isos and similar. The problem is that my uni is quite strict on downloads outside of the internal network - more than 400mb/day and you're stuffed. They do have an internal mirror but it only has a couple of distros on (lame). So my mates and I wget an iso each then share them.

Knoppix (1)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137156)

Knoppix, at least, does so.


Kazaa (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136859)

For some reason kazaa claims that it's service is 100% legal though. tm []

And how about the service named "Ares"? Why arent they being targeted aswell?

Kazaa is right (1)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136931)

... And they're right. (the usual disclaimer: IANAL). It is 100% legal to have Kazaa. Even after you get infringing content with it, the program itself is still legal.

Re:Kazaa is right (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137241)

That's true right now, under the protection of the BetaMax decision. But that was won by a slim margin (5-4) and the current supreme court might decide that the copyright protection for the copyright holders is more important than the fair use rights of the public. In that case, it would actually become illegal to have/use the Kazaa client. That's why this case is so important and has been so high-profile.

Misleding (2, Insightful)

northcat (827059) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136868)

First of all the article's title is misleading. It makes you think that in a recent event a non-infringing use is actually being requested in the court. Second of all the article should be submitted to ask-/. not yro.

Do you need a screenshot? (2, Funny)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136876)

Some guy downloaded the GIMP from me over Gnutella a couple of weeks ago, but I'm afraid I don't have any proof.

Re:Do you need a screenshot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136944)

What kind of fucking weirdo would download pictures of a disabled person through Gnutella?

etree? (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136880) [] for distributing legally traded music via torrents? Along with various other P2P protocols for doing the same thing (FurthurNET, etc).

Re:etree? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137212) is on his list already. Oddly enough "(Thanks to 'garcia')". Along the same lines is Furthurnet [] a specialized p2p client with a whitelist for bands that allow trading. BTW, they have many of the same bandwidth sharing features that bittorrent has.

Re:etree? (1)

plove42 (535261) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137232)

peer to peer is the best thing to happen to taper-friendly bands since the DAT tape (I know calling it a DAT tape is redundant, but whatever). Now, instead of receiving a copy of a copy of a copy of a show via snail mail, everyone gets a bit perfect copy with verifiable data. No more clicks and pops from all the generations of cd and analog tape copying. And the music gets out there faster. I've started downloading a show within minutes of waking up the next morning.

Legal Use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136882)

I've never used BitTorrent for anything BUT legal activities. It comes in very handy for downloading ISO images of various Linux distributions. I personally have never even seen a link to an "illegal" torrent.

Re:Legal Use? Workaround... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136927)

Don't forget that it's legal to download pretty much anything as long as it's for evaluation purposes and you delete it after a maximum of 24 hours.

Re:Legal Use? Workaround... (2, Informative)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136963)

That's a complete urban myth.

And on top of that, even if somehow weird dimension where you live where that might even be true, Civil Lawsuits require you to to prove your innocence. You would still have to go to court, pay out the nose, to prove you innocence. And based on some crap you heard on the internet. Which isn't true, btw.

Getting around Censorship (5, Interesting)

GoodNicsTken (688415) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136890)

Durring the beginning of the Iraq war, I used P2P to get video and pictures that were censored from the US. The instant I hear about pictures, recordings, etc. on another network they can't show in the US, I go find them on P2P. Along with that search, I also found pictures that solders had taken along the way. Then I found gunship video (de-classified and classified because it had altitude/other readings) showing people walking into a building. The order came, and they leveled the building. Then started firing on anyone leaving the scene. You could actually see the men get thrown around after getting hit with munitions. On, and this video just happened to show one man running into a mosque so he was let go. (sure it wasn't leaked on purpose)

Censored? No. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136954)

Ummm. there were no video/picture that were "censored from the US".

Re:Censored? No. (5, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137081)

Ummm. there were no video/picture that were "censored from the US".

Except for the more graphic images of US military personel torturing foreigners. And killing them during "questioning." And the bodies of US service men coming home. And who knows what else, because when stuff is being censored you don't necessarily know it.

Remember, this is the country that routinely dropped colour from video taken "behind the iron curtain", leaving the impression that everything there was black-and-white. The country that loudly objected to the development of biological weapons anywhere, by anyone, until some of our congress critters got mailed samples of weaponized anthrax we had made in our biological weapons labs. Oops.

Our legislators pass laws without reading them, in some cases without being allowed to read them and/or discuss them, and we pass laws which average citizens are not allowed to own a copy of.

If you think there are no images censored from the US, you are nuts.


Re:Getting around Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136958)

Well, aren't you the sneakty sleuth! Nice work, ace!

Re:Getting around Censorship (1)

wheelbarrow (811145) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136967)

This is a really interesting post. It makes me wonder about how much BitTorrent is being utilized in societies that are faced with even more censorship. Let's take China for an example. The Chinese government heavily uses censorship as one of the principal pillars keeping it in power. Does anyone know the degree of BitTorrent use in China?

Re:Getting around Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136969)

Holy shit, that is the absolute worst attempt at writing a post trying to be modded as insightful. Get your head out of your ass, new guy.

Re:Getting around Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136979)

Wake up, he's full of it. There's a difference between censorship and networks not wanting to get a bad rap for showing something.

Re:Getting around Censorship (1)

wheelbarrow (811145) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137004)

I agree with you. I just decided not to take my response there. I was more intrigued by envisioning the government of China (censorship lovers) trying to shut down a distributed p2p toolset like BitTorrent. (5, Informative)

jhalludel (830183) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136894)

how about URL says it all... (1)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137124)

Seconded. Legal Torrents is a great resource for legal content, especially smaller electronica labels. The Wired Creative Commons CD is on there as well.

Uses ? (4, Interesting)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136905)

We use P2P (JXTA) in our food traceability project. Users keep their data locally but allow others within their group to access the data to build the required product documentation. This is done to comply with upcomming EU and US legislation.

Unfortunately.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136907)

As the list implicitly acknowledges with the '10% of users are legitimate', most users of standard P2P networks DO use them to infringe on copywrites. This list is very suspicious in that many of the items it lists are new and/or unadopted P2P networks, some of which really couldn't be used for infringing materials. IANAL, but it seems to me all this could accomplish is a court banning current P2P implementations in favor of more heavily regulated or restrictively designed ones that cannot easily be used to distribute the latest music.

This is not to argue that shutting down the system to stop the 90% of pirating users is the right way to go, but it seems like in the court case over a specific P2P implementation, it might be a mistake to point to 50 other implementations which don't suffer the same problems.

Well... (3, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136909)

Assault rifles can be used for hunting, target practice, target competition, and recreational shooting (as can most guns).

Assault rifles, and guns in general, aren't "evil" or are built to serve nefarious purposes.

Similarly, P2P networks can solve a host of distribution issues.

It's the idiots that use them for illegal purposes (assault rifles, guns, or P2P networks) that cause the problems. Since the world is made up mostly of idiots, well... there you go.

Re:Well... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11137002)

Heh, not a bad comparison as far as legal rights. Too bad the Slashdot crowd is typically anti-gun, so they won't understand where you're coming from.

Re:Well... (1)

Derkec (463377) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137015)

Interesting, but if you had a gun store that only sold assualt rifles and it became known to you that 90% of the rifles you sold were being used in crimes, would you still be justified in selling assault rifles?

Now that's a big "if", but it moves the discussion more towards what we're talking about with grokster.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11137062)

Interesting, but if you had a gun store that only sold assualt rifles and it became known to you that 90% of the rifles you sold were being used in crimes, would you still be justified in selling assault rifles?

Now that's a big "if", but it moves the discussion more towards what we're talking about with grokster.

That is a big if because rifles are used in a miniscule fraction of crimes. Illegally obtained handguns are the largest portion. People are just scared of a big black "military-looking" weapon.

Nonetheless is it the seller's responsibility if purchasers misuse the item they buy? No. Nor is it Grokster/Kazaa/BitTorrent's fault when someone shares copyrighted stuff.

incorrect analogy (1)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137100)

While your sentiment is clear, your object choice does not lend itself to its use. The so-called "assault weapons" are not used by criminals. They're too heavy, too loud, cost too much. Just like bolt-action rifles. Also, 99% of firearms are never used in a crime.

It is a rare criminal that isn't wearing clothes. Clothes are the choice of criminals! We must make clothes illegal, or at least license them tightly, to prevent their abuse by criminals.

How about an automobile dealer instead? What if an automobile dealer found out that 99% of their cars were used to speed, run stop signs, tailgate? Show me a driver who never commits a "crime". Or rather, "infraction"?

Would they still be "justified" in selling cars?

I've never seen a car on the road with a US Government license plate that wasn't speeding. There's a big clue there about the difference between inanimate objects "used in crimes" and the people who commit crimes.


Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137034)

Except that most guns aren't used to commit crimes.

And though we'll never have conclusive, accurate metrics on leval vs. illegal use of P2P, common sense tells me that the majority of users aren't downloading the latest version of Gentoo.

Re:Well... (1)

a24061 (703202) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137083)

Except that most guns aren't used to commit crimes.

When guns are used to commit crimes, people could die. No one will die as a result of copyright infringement---so it's hardly as serious.

Re:Well... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137126)

People can die when I use a chainsaw, pencil, pen, lamp, rock, stick, club, baseball bat, crowbar, CRT, LCD, Computer, Stapler, Holepuncher, chair, Cat-5 cable, phonecord, desk, old ladies walker, cane, sword, kitchen knife, clorox bleach, amonia, etc... TO bash their head in or strangle them poison them stab them and so on yet I don't see anyone complaining against most of those. Or even a car to run someone over with.

Re:Well... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137217)

Assault rifles are designed specifically to kill human beings. They're not really well suited to the purpose of hunting, and all of your other examples amount to "practice/pretend".

Killing human beings is generally considered evil, and even those that don't consider it uniformly so feel that it is only justified as a response to the evil of others.

Piss poor example if you ask me... .... (5, Interesting)

Art Pollard (632734) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136917)

I run [] . The goal is to create audiobooks of the most important literary works on liberty and freedom. I regularly share our first work: Frederic Bastiat's classic book "The Law" via LimeWire. The works are intended to be downloaded and shared. (You can even post them on your website as long as the copyright info is kept intact.) Sometime today or tomorrow, I'll be posting our second work: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. With both of these works, there is a statement at the beginning encouraging people to share them "via their favorite file sharing service." So, not only is sharing via P2P allowed, it is encouraged. (Add one more to your list.) .... (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137221)

Dissemination of information in a manner that allows the person offering the ability to do so without going over bandwidth, too bad he put his site on /. :(

A wonderful book, btw.
Hope that when your site comes back up I can score that and some Thomas Paine, w00t!

another game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136920)

Vendetta Online also uses BitTorrent to patch.

Knoppix. (3, Informative)

Demon-Xanth (100910) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136928)

Want to distribute 700MB files all over the world w/o breaking your own backbone? Knoppix provides a torrent link that lets you DL it's live CD distribution from the bittorrent network rather than the choked FTP servers (which are often 7-10kb/sec).

Ask this: Why does it exist? (2, Interesting)

dilute (74234) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136940)

Grokster is a business. If you couldn't use it to trade infringing copies, I'm afraid the service would have no commercial viability whatsoever. The mere fact that it's CAPABLE of exchanging noninfringing files I don't think is sufficient justification.

A better case, perhaps, could be made for bittorent.

Well... (4, Informative)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136943)

Right now I am using BitTorrent to download disk images of the X Live CD written about here on /. a few days ago and Fedora Core 3. I can't really think of any better examples of a legal use of a "p2p" network. I think BitTorrent is an especially good idea for OSS as it allows free software to be distributed in a manner that lowers the bandwidth usage of the host providing the software.

linux ISOs (0, Redundant)

drwho (4190) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136952)

It's not too difficult to find people using bittorrent to distribute linux ISOs these days. I just grabbed a set of Debian 3.1. Works like a charm!

In fact, nothing works better. This is so much a viable use, that I don't really believe any more proof of bittorrent is necessary. But hey, the more the better I suppose.

A distinction may be drawn (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136953)

between systems like BT versus Kazaa and Grokster. Their network structures are inherently different and as such must be considered independently.

Legal uses of BitTorrent have been shown, but legit uses of Kazaa and Grokster are slim from what I've seen.

You might argue that you could distribute public domain works, or GPL works, over Kazaa/Grokster but for things like Linux ISOs, BT works better and for low priority things HTTP and FTP work quite well.

And please, people, don't bring up the "we should make all X illegal" analogy.

Re:A distinction may be drawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11136974)

Anarchy Online ( a scifi MMORPG ) lets users download the client by bittorrent if they wish

The real issue (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137139)

The problem is that they are using these organizations as scapegoats because they are the easiest target. When you cannot punish a crime effectively politicians and "victims" end up blaming the tool instead of the crime and perpetrator. We see this in a wide variety of issues in law.

"I lost X and for whatever reason cannot punish Y so I must lobby to have tool T outlawed." or "If not for tool T I would still have X so I must sue/lobby."

If you have to ask... (0, Troll)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136966)

... and if it is that hard to find it being used legitimately, then maybe the tool or protocol itself is illegitimate? HTTP, FTP all have clear legit uses, I'd say they are in the clear. Kind of like fully automatic weapons. You could use it for self-defense, but it is so deadly and used so much for bad things that I can't support general citizens owning one. I realize that guns and P2P aren't nearly the same issue, I thought that part was similar enough for the illustration.

Even if it is legit, bittorrent is primarily a cost-shifting measure that I really can't support, IMO.

Re:If you have to ask... (1)

a24061 (703202) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137107)

I realize that guns and P2P aren't nearly the same issue

Misuse of a gun could kill an innocent person. Nothing you can do with P2P software even approaches that severity.

BBC (4, Interesting)

Sirch (82595) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136972)

The BBC is apparently considering [] using P2P for the distribution of their archives once it goes live.

slackware (2, Informative)

IAR80 (598046) | more than 8 years ago | (#11136987)

Latest slackware distribution was first released only on BT.

Porn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11137010)

Isn't porn sharing one of the main uses of P2P? A lot of porn is homemade and has no copyright. Maybe Jerry Falwell and the FRC don't like it, but its legal and a legitimate use of free speech.

Re:Porn (1)

Pofy (471469) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137159)

>A lot of porn is homemade and has no copyright.

Not true at all. Of course it has copyright. The copyright belong to whoever made it. The fact that the person might have put it out for anyone to download does not remove any copyright at all.

Anarchy Online uses BitTorrent (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137021)

Anarchy Online is currently being distributed via BitTorrent.
The whole system worked very nice for me.

Eve patch download (2, Informative)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137028)

Eve, the MMORPG posted a bittorrent link when they updated their client for faster downloads. It WAS faster to download that way too, much much faster. The link is still there:

well.. (1)

blackomegax (807080) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137044)

if they want to go after bittorren, which is being used legally all over the place, they might as well shut down IRC and usenet too. because...well...IRC and usenet are the CORE of piracy. except for their legit uses also (community). naturally, if IRC got shutdown, i think heads would soon be chopped off. i dont think anyone but pirates would notice if usenet went away, though. /pirate

Common (1)

shlepp (796599) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137057)

Ok, can someone Canadia please make a P2P program and run it from up here. YOU ARE SAFE HERE.

Ringtone sharing (2, Interesting)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137059)

One of the legal uses of P2P networking listed is ringtone sharing, but ringtones are the same as any other form of music: the owner of the copyright dictates whether anyone is allowed to copy them or not. This means that ringtones based on chart music or TV theme tunes, for example, cannot legally be copied.

It's not uncommon these days for a record company to make more money from a ringtone of a single than the actual CD sales, so I wouldn't be surprised if they got upset about them being shared freely.

Free music you can copy []

What if MGM wins their legal case... (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137063)

-This would make P2p illegal and probably a host of similar software.
-USA would then be compared to China in anal retention.

Then one of 2 things will happen:
-All the fun (and illegal) things in computers would not happen in the USA. Patents will also drive interesting stuff away too. USA would have to buy all good tech stuff from outside the country, eventhough it would illegal. Joe consumer would either leave the country (if he can afford it) or join some militia for civil war.
-Congress smartens-up and fixes the copywrong and patents laws so that innovation stays in the USA. The US might fall a bit from grace but not flat on its face. Alas this won't happen: too much greed in the US government today.

Re:What if MGM wins their legal case... (1)

dago (25724) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137102)

Yeah, that's cool, what's the problem ?

Peter Jackson production diaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11137094)

The web site [] uses bit torrent to distribute Peter Jackson's production diaries from his filming of King Kong.

PVFS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11137103)

Isn't PVFS2 [] a P2P sort of system?.. underlying protocol uses peers to create a virtual disk. This takes the idea of P2P as a protocol instead of a piece of end-user software. (1)

freality (324306) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137108)

The OMR is a music registry for copyleft or public domain music. It lists a couple hundred artists and many more songs, from many genre. Unfortunately, it recently went down. it was too expensive to host as a traditional web archive.

I've talked with its maintainer about running it, and I'll be re-openning it for the new year, only because I'm building it for use with bittorrent. I have a measly 33KB/s uplink and couldn't begin to host the site otherwise. But between me as the archive and a couple of friends who can keep a duplicate of many of the songs on bigger links, we ought to be able to provide decent D/L speeds and get this project going again. Without P2P -- popular, well used, well supported p2p -- we wouldn't have a good path forwards.

Thanks for the opportunity to chime in and say thanks for the technology!

How do you define P2P? (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137111)

UseNet, IM, and FTP could all be considered P2P.

King Kong Movie (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137112)

The King Kong website has been distributing production diary videos and interviews with Director Peter Jackson, et al via torrent for the upcoming movie. []

P2P-distributed Humanist Movement materials (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137113)

The Humanist Movement, an international umbrella of groups and organizations, distributes its materials in many ways, one of which is p2p.

It's a great way of making available a large amount of information, like long videos, audio, and archived information.

To see it, install winMX, find channel "LUNA", open a server, and there's the largest store of their videos, audio, text, and archives.

Many languages, but mostly Spanish, French, Italian, and English.

winMX was chosen because it supports many languages.

Project Gutenberg (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137127)

While it was never official, all of the Project Gutenberg books are shared out by some people on DC networks.

Knoppix (4, Informative)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137130)

Knoppix has been using BitTorrent for distribution for a while. I think it's an excellent example for other distributions.

Debian tried to use a distributed system where the packages for the .ISO were gathered from the mirror sites. I think BitTorrent would be a better way, and will suggest it.


So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11137131)

... we're supposed to come up with reasons that lawsuits against P2P hosts should move from a strict liability regime to a negligence regime?

We're not quite ready for that yet. Sorry.

Local Distributed Storage Solution (2, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137132)

One of the best examples of a P2P network that I havn't really seen done too well yet is a local distributed storage solution. The idea here is that you have some huge datastore (such as a file system or a database) where you want to put the data into the datastore and allow other individuals on the local network to be able to fish the data out.

The point here is that by going the P2P route rather than a fixed central server model, you both balance the network bandwith, particularly for "distant" nodes, and you allow the redundancy that the internet is so hyped over (you can nuke any node and the rest will compensate) but in practice is far from the truth. In theory you can still lose some data, but with a well built P2P network of this nature that could be minimized, and only seldom accessed data would be the most vunerable.

Another big plus of this is that not only does this type of storage system work well for limited bandwidth, you can also install more modest "almost thin terminals" into such a network that keeps only frequently accessed data locally, and other nodes can compensate with data storage elsewhere.

Unfortunately, I havn't seen any really good examples of this. Freenet comes close in theory, but even that has some ways to go to do this effectively.

Mod me -1: Religious Nut, but... (4, Interesting)

eSims (723865) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137157)

We use a digital recording system to record mp3s and burn CDs of our church services. We intend to use P2P to defray the costs of bandwidth to be able to distribute the recordings freely. Since the church owns the copyright there are no legal encumbrences to this distribution.

A Bit Offtopic: But Slashdot provided much of the info required for designing and building the recording device [] and to my knowledge there is none like it elsewhere.

Fan Pictures (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137170)

One of the things I have used the P2P clients (any and all) for is for finding and downloading Anime Fan Pictures. Easiest way to get a couple hundred pics of a series at once rather than trying to find fansites and dloading an image archive one at a time.

3 uses, personal expirence. (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137181)

1 - Getting legal to re-distribute software and information more efficiently then only using the base FTP sites..

2 - time-shifting of broadcast TV shows that i have a legal right to record, but missed due to any number of reasons.

3 - Sharing your own produced content ( such as music ) in order to broaden your listener base without the cost of 'main stream' advertising. and (1)

AIX-Hood (682681) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137184)

Both and use BitTorrent for legal torrent downloads of game demos and videos. (sorry for tooting my own horn) allows people to submit legal files of any kind, and we'll add our high bandwidth seeds.

Podcasting (1)

Augie De Blieck Jr. (13716) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137200)

Podcasters are starting to use BitTorrent as a way to effectively distribute their non-copyright-infringing shows without choking their own bandwidth pipe.

Here's one tutorial on it. []


Red vs. Blue BitTorrent downloads (1)

corporatemutantninja (533295) | more than 8 years ago | (#11137215)

I like this example because Red vs. Blue (and machinima in general) is an emergent "threat" to established content producers, and P2P makes it possible for a low-budget group to disseminate their original creations.

Or do they still use BitTorrent....?

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